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March 06, 2014

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Gay Marriage sets up the following precedents as a basis for inevitable slippery slope disasters:

1) Coercing the fiction (lie) of 'equality' that defies objective empirical reality(ies).

2) The dismissal and trivialization of the exceptional attributes of traditional marriage and traditional family - rendering the institution ambiguous at best and possibly irrelevant/meaningless.

3) The modern invention of a 'transgender' identity as a liberation from sexual morality. Sexual morality is oppressive and repressive. Sexual desire defines identity (Gay).

4) Marriage and family structure(s) are evolving, constantly changing. Any resistance to the evolving nature of marriage and family is pathological, bigotry, and immoral.

5) Adult consensual love needs, desires, and wants is the highest virtue in marriage - not children. Consensual adult love expression and satisfaction is primary - not children.

Some of these precedents have already been observed in heterosexual arrangements. Gay Marriage reinforces, formalizes, and institutionalizes these precedents for future generations.

Well said, Phyte.


The response fails to see the difference between recognizing that a slippery slope agument can be valid and actually having a valid slippery slope argument.

The response ignores the difference between A) taking out ONE argument against the bad thing at the bottom of the slippery slope and B) taking out ALL arguments against that bad thing.

Removing one argument against the bad thing at the bottom of the slippery slope does not make that bad thing inevitable; all it does is remove one argument against the bad thing.

Making one argument for gay marriage that can also be made for pedophilia doesn't defeat ALL arguments against pedophilia. (Think of the capacity to give consent.)

I kind of agree with you, RonH. I think the challenge for this week needed more context. There are fallacious slippery slope arguments, but there are also sounds slippery slope arguments, and not all causal slippery slope arguments are fallacious. That's why didn't respond to this week's challenge. It required me to guess at the particular slippery slope argument the challenger was responding to.

Is it possible that Gay Marriage is the bottom of the slippery slope that began with the sexual revolution of the 1960's/70's? Is it possible Gay Marraige is just another manifestation of the social entropy started during the Woodstock Festival generation? Other manifestations might be divorce, co-habitation, abortion, unwed mothers, children born to unwed couples, Porn addiction, STD's, multiple partners, etc. All of which is the liberation of sexuality from morality. Sexuality divorced from morality.

Gay Marriage is just the latest version to manifest itself. More versions, manifestations to come.

Phyte On,

I appreciate your five precedents and note that inconsistencies can be established easily.

I am especially taken with your fourth item: Marriage and family structure(s) are evolving, constantly changing.

How often the biological concept of evolution is extrapolated beyond its basic adaptation of species to environmental factors to cover much more than it could ever prove? Much of the most inane ideas of the late nineteenth century, such as the studies of philology and comparative religions, drew on the idea of advancement from a common ancestor. If we take time to study this assertion, historical analysis would easily debunk it. Marriage is remarkably resilient, in spite of the claims of its detractors and critics. Cultures, and the civilizations in which they manifest themselves, do not advance in linear fashion. They often show cyclical patterns as times of innovation and conservation. Technological eras often are marked my failures in technological benefits. Titanics sink. Y2K's fail to materialize.

Worse yet, cultures do not evolve so much as maturate, whither, die. We can see decline of cultures and civilizations, the national apathy arise as "bread and circuses" appear, note when national loyalty wanes and self-interest saps the national strength. History can speak more volumes on the entity called culture than scientific research can claim.

We now should take time to consider your five "principles" and examine the need to consider our course for our present culture. This is, of course, "slippery slope thinking," and Alan has done a fine job in dividing a true fallacy from a reasoned consideration of consequences.

Revision ...

... marked my failures ...should read ... marked by failures.

I would just point out that most references to slippery slope fallacies include an “innocuous first step”. It's the "2nd step" that people tend to have issues with.

Same-sex marriage isn’t an “innocuous first step” for opponents. It’s an adverse first step. With an adverse 2nd, 3rd, 4th step. All steps progressing in logical harmony.

None of this would even be necessary if same-sex marriage proponents would just get on with the reasons they want to ban other forms of marriage.

They don’t want to do that.

KWM, love the simplicity and elegance of your argument. Especially, the final words...

"None of this would even be necessary if same-sex marriage proponents would just get on with the reasons they want to ban other forms of marriage.

They don’t want to do that."

That is just so profoundly telling in my mind...like a poker player basically 'winking' his 'tell'.

Part of what fascinates me about this debate is the sloppiness and weak reasoning behind Gay Marriage. I understand the sentimental bias of the proponents to play a sort of 'sleight of hand' magic trick to achieve their ends. What I don't get and is unexplainable to me is the fact that an entire culture goes along with the masquerade. An astonishingly massive group think conformity.

This group think conformity and acquiescence to such shallow reasoning is just so mind boggling to me. It really is like I'm living in the Hans Christian Andersen story about the Emperor's New Clothes.

Does this group think phenomenon (of this import and magnitude) have any historical parallels in a free thinking society? Certainly, not in my lifetime.


Making one argument for gay marriage that can also be made for pedophilia doesn't defeat ALL arguments against pedophilia.
For starters, Alan never claimed that the same argument used for justifying gay marriage can be used for justifying pedophilia.

Beside that, your general point is bogus. If an argument justifies gay marriage, and that same argument justifies something else, say polygamy. Then whoever endorses to goodness of the argument when applied to gay marriage thereby endorses the goodness of the argument when applied to polygamy. To acknowledge the argument as good is to acknowledge gay marriage as justified. Not as not defeated, but justified. By the same token, polygamy is thereby justified. Not just not defeated, but justified.

Bottom line is that to say that a thing is justified is to say that there are no defeaters.

Now, you say, the argument for gay marriage is not so ambitious, it is just showing that gay marriage is not defeated by some concern, C. So that's all the argument for polygamy shows. Polygamy is not defeated by concern-C. But, you continue, that doesn't mean there might not be, apart from concern-C, defeaters for polygamy that don't apply to gay marriage.

Well, that argument is also subject to the same parallel. There might, apart from concern-C, be defeaters for gay marriage that don't apply to polygamy.

Either way, it's an interesting speculation. But, until you present an actual argument that's supposed to defeat polygamy but not gay marriage, that's all it is.

For starters, Alan never claimed that the same argument used for justifying gay marriage can be used for justifying pedophilia.
And I didn't say he did.

Alan did say this...

You see, once you open up the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples well then you can pretty much define marriage any way you like it and include any sort of coupling or group of people in that definition.
... as part of his response.

You said

To acknowledge the argument as good is to acknowledge gay marriage as justified.
Justified? Do you mean that one 'good' argument always makes the case?

That is, perhaps, one way to understand 'good argument'.

But, it's not the only way and it has problems...

What of the expression 'good arguments on both sides'?

And, if you find a need to make a cumulative case, i.e. of multiple arguments, are none of the individual arguments 'good arguments'?

No. I would revise what you said:

To acknowledge the argument as 'good' is to acknowledge that the argument lends support to gay marriage.
This understanding of 'good argument' allows them to exist 'on both sides' and makes sense of the possible need for a cumulative case.

Suppose an argument, A, supports gay marriage and pedophila.

In that case, there may be futher arguments supporting gay marriage that, together with A, make a cumulative case that, when completed, justifies gay marriage.

Nothing here, of course, requires that these other arguments (besides A) support to pedophila.

Either way, it's an interesting speculation. But, until you present an actual argument that's supposed to defeat polygamy but not gay marriage, that's all it is.

This is not 'speculation'; it's a demonstration a hole in the logic of the apologetic which insinuates that one is necessarily incoherent to use an argument that supports gay marriage and bestialty in the same way and to the same extent but then reject bestialty.
_____________________

If you make a mistake in a proof, all I have to do is show you the mistake. I don't have to provide a counterexample to the claim you tried to prove.

Furthermore, suppose I chose to provide a counterexample in this case.

It would not need to defeat polygamy but not gay marriage'.

It would only need to weigh against polygamy but not gay marriage.

Read The Witness Wore Red. I think you might say it weighs against polygamy. But you probably won't say it weighs against gay marriage.

When did RonH start speaking in full sentences?

@RonH:

The Witness Wore Red weighs against controlling relationships, not polygamy.

When consenting, loving adults enter into a polygamous relationship, why would you oppose it Ron?

Kip Hollings,

Certainly. Some of the marriages are forced on the girls/women. And that was part of the problem. The illegality was also part of the problem.

But there is at least one issue that is inherent in polygamy.

The more polygamy you have, the more men wind up with no wife. This creates big issues in the FLDS communities which they solve can by ejecting young men. As I recall, the book covers that. Of course, ejecting the young bucks only works because the FLDS are few and the wider world can absorb those men.

I might oppose in the sense of recommend against. But I'd have to admit I don't have much to base such an opposition on. I have no first hand experience with that way of life. I certainly don't know enough to oppose in the sense of legal ban.

Walter Tillson,

As far as I know, my speech development was in the normal range.

The Witness Wore Red tells of an abusive polygamous marriage.

No one, I think, has made the idiotic contention that there will be no abusive gay marriages. Nor has anyone made the idiotic contention that polygamous marriages will always be marked by abuse.

Perhaps there are some abuses that are possible precisely because the marriage is polygamous.

So polygamous marriage is bad because there is the possibility of abuse that is unique to such marriages because they are polygamous?

But surely, Ron, you have enough imagination to realize that there are abuses that can occur with gay marriages because of their unique character, as gay.

Then gay marriage is likewise bad because there is the possibility of abuse that is unique to such marriages because they are gay?

(And BTW, the same probably goes for straight marriage and every other kind of marriage...as such the principle is the problem, not any form of marriage.)

The mere fact that marriages (including gay marriages, straight marriages, polygamous marriages, polyandrous marriages, group marriages, etc.) can be abusive is no argument against them.

The Witness Wore Red is largely irrelevant. It is no more an indictment of polygamy than The Burning Bed is an indictment of traditional marriage.

As for the problem with not enough men getting married, that assumes that the only thing we will have is polygamy. But no one is suggesting that. No one is even suggesting that we will have only monogamous and polygamous marriages. Obviously, there's no argument that can be raised against polyandrous and group marriages, if the reason for allowing marriage is that people should be free to marry the object of their amour.

And I didn't say he [Alan] did [say that the argument for gay marriage also supports pedophilia].
But your remark about pedophilia was made in direct response to Alan. So you kinda did.
Justified? Do you mean that one 'good' argument always makes the case?
Yes. that's what I mean. Another word for "Good Argument" is "Proof". Good arguments are marked by having true and proven, self-evident or otherwise obvious premises and by being valid. Such arguments have true premises. Since opposites cannot both be true, you cannot have good arguments for opposite things.

I think what you are calling a good argument in your subsequent remarks I would merely call "challenging". There are never good arguments on each side of a dispute, but there are often challenging arguments on each side of a dispute.

On that, I suppose we are words, not worlds, apart.

But the general point I was making remains. Let's say that you admit that your argument for gay marriage is, inductive, cumulative or whatever. Unless some of those accumulated reasons don't apply to polygamy the same cumulative inductive case will support polygamy, but all of the reasons that have actually been mentioned support polygamy at least as well as they support gay marriage.

There may be some, as yet unarticulated, reasons for gay marriage that don't apply to polygamy. I freely grant that if they ever actually do get articulated, we will have to re-examine the case for polygamy vs. gay marriage.

But even that sword cuts both ways. There may be some, as yet, as yet unarticulated, reasons for polygamy that don't apply to gay marriage...

And let's be honest...we don't really have all these arguments for gay marriage that cummulatively 'make' the case. The only argument for gay marriage is that people, in a misguided effort to be nice, don't want society to say "no" when two people profess their love to each other. That's it. That's supposed to be the knockout punch to traditionalists.

The evolution of marriage nonsense actually proves nothing. It's meant to show traditionalists how stupid they are for thinking that marriage isn't a living, breathing institution (just like the Constitution is a living, breathing document). Which means that (of course, you stupid fundy) that it is whatever we say it is.

So there's really just the one argument. When two people profess their love, they should be allowed to marry and receive all sorts of state-sanctioned benefits as a result. Because nice.

Well, why two, why not three? Or six?

How many people, and what combination, do we have to have before society can say "no"?

"And let's be honest...we don't really have all these arguments for gay marriage that cummulatively 'make' the case. The only argument for gay marriage is that people, in a misguided effort to be nice, don't want society to say "no" when two people profess their love to each other. That's it. That's supposed to be the knockout punch to traditionalists." --WisdomLover

Wonderful observation of this generation. Again, boggles my mind that in a free society (where independent thinking is free to express itself) that there is such conformity to group think based on such shallow reasoning. On a subject as important as marriage & family.

The only explanation I can think of is that Gay Marriage is the bottom of the slippery slope - the consequence of a generation of heterosexuals that have made a mess of sexual morality, unborn life, marriage, and family. Acquiescence to entropy and sloth.

So you kinda did.

No. I was completely aware that Alan did not mention pedophilia.

But I mentioned it anyway because others do put pedophilia at the bottom of the slippery slope and Alan's response was not a defense merely of the other things Alan said in that response; Alan's response was a defense against the charge that others make fallacious slippery slope attacks on the other side.

Ron, I don't think your argument is any good, no matter what NAMBLA may have to say about it.

Did I just suggest that you're in favor of Man-Boy Love?

Or not?

Are we talking about some particular argument of mine or my general general defence of unspecified arguments some of which are made by persons in favor of mbl?

Another theme from The Witness Wore Red: The moms, having no natural interest in each other's children, compete in a zero sum game for the same family resources. In the book, this conflict (which is inherent to polygamy) eventually gets violent.

Unless gay marriages involve some sort of biological magic, at least one member of the couple has no natural interest in each child. If there are multiple children in the marriage, they also compete in a zero-sum game for the family's resources. And if some children are related to one member of the couple and some are related to the other, you have exactly the same dynamic that you incorrectly identified as unique to polygamy. I imagine that competition could even get violent.

BTW, that dynamic also exists in blended families, where each member of a couple brings in children from an earlier marriage that ended in bereavement or divorce.

BTW, Ron

Were we talking about some particular argument of Alan's or his general general defense of unspecified arguments some of which are made by persons who believe that there is a slippery slope from gay marriage to pedophilic marriage?

Notice the half-hearted objections over the course of these two threads.

You have things like:

1. It would be hard legally
2. Who gets final say? (My personal favorite)
3. Tax issues (i.e. accounting issues)
4. We may need mandatory prenuptials
5. Have you read The Witness Wore Red?
6. People can get nasty

What do all of the above have in common? Besides not being good reasons to prohibit multiple person marriage, there’s never any conviction. Everything has underlying hesitation. They throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. They know it shouldn’t stick.

Deep down many people who favor the legalization of SSM, would be deeply troubled with unfettered marriage amongst consenting adults. Why? Not because of the above reasons.

Those are the reasons they just throw against the wall.

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